Three Dallas Cowboys who have to put up or shut up in 2020

Jaylon Smith, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Jaylon Smith, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Dallas Cowboys, Jim Tomsula
Dallas Cowboys, Jim Tomsula (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Jim Tomsula

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan gets all the buzz on the defense, so that means he’ll be rewarded with all the credit or criticism in 2020. But we have to emphasize one key staff member that Nolan and Mike McCarthy agreed on: Jim Tomsula.

Overall, the Cowboys finished with the ninth overall defense in 2019, giving up 5,232 yards. The New England Patriots wore the crown last year, giving up just 4,414 yards.

In terms of the turnover ratio, the Cowboys finished in the middle of the pack at the 18th spot, with a -1 in their column. The Patriots finished with a whopping 21 in that department, giving them the top spot in the league.

Dallas finished the season with 39 sacks, which was good for the 19th spot overall. The team registered just seven picks, which was good for the last place in the NFL. The Cowboys forced 14 fumbles, which placed them in the middle of the pack.

If the Dallas Cowboys want a postseason in 2020, these numbers have to change. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula has to jumpstart this pressure upfront, wreaking havoc on the front lines.

Pressure, pressure, pressure. Hopefully, this translates to turnover after turnover.